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Thread: Are we safer than we were 5 years ago?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Are we safer than we were 5 years ago?

    Here is a realistic question and one often covered by news agencies... are we safer as a country than we were 5 years ago? Why or why not. Do you feel safer?

    If no, what needs to be done for us to be a safer country?
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  2. #2
    I think air travel is safer and I think we are making strides in communication technology for fire/police.

    I don't think we are any safer in other areas, however. Ports, rail, mass transit seem to have slipped under the radar in comparison to the investment made in air travel. If we have to be right 100% of the time, it is only a matter of time before they think of some angle we haven't thought to protect.

  3. #3

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    Of course we're safer. Everything is just going so swimmingly.

    http://billmon.org/archives/002720.html

  4. #4
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    I'd say nothing's changed... .

  5. #5
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nerudite View post
    I'd say nothing's changed... .
    What she said.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

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    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    I think air travel is safer and I think we are making strides in communication technology for fire/police.

    I don't think we are any safer in other areas, however. Ports, rail, mass transit seem to have slipped under the radar in comparison to the investment made in air travel. If we have to be right 100% of the time, it is only a matter of time before they think of some angle we haven't thought to protect.
    I agree with the second part with Gurdunker. As for air travel they will just find a way around the current system. The pre 9/11 security model worked for 20 years until someone found a way around it.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Air travel has become safer and more stringent than it was 5 years ago and I am happy with it and don't mind getting searched before heading to the departing areas.

    Train travel is still more pourous than swiss cheese, no accountability for who gets on and off the trains/subways. And I hate to say it, I'm surprised nothing of great scale has happened in these areas.

    Bridges and Tunnels. Eh, trucks are searched and restricted a little more, but all it would take is a good van sized fertilizer bomb to recreate what happened in Oaklahoma City.

    I would say the government/FBI/CIA probably has a closer watch on some individuals and groups than we care to admit between physical surveylance or wire tapping etc. But I don't want to know what they know.
    @GigCityPlanner

  8. #8
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM View post
    Of course we're safer. Everything is just going so swimmingly.
    I wholehearted agree. Since 9/11 our government has enhanced our security and well-being immensely. Some examples:

    1. Govt. announces what every American can do to protect themselves from the imminent chemical/biological attack http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/02/11/emergency.supplies/

    2. Improved disaster emergency response http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/HurricaneK...1102467&page=1

    3. Well okay, maybe the federal govt's response to Katrina wasn't all it could have been but they're clearly trying to figure out now what to do to improve disaster preparedness so it's better next time http://www.usatoday.com/news/washing...na-probe_x.htm

    4. Improved public awareness of new threats http://politicalhumor.about.com/libr...ndsecurity.htm
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  9. #9
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    For those who don’t think that anything has changed, what are your thoughts on reports that the Government has stopped several terrorist attacks in the US?

    More so, how much better can it get given that since 9/11, there has not been one successful terrorist attack on US soil despite warnings from Al Quida that “more attacks are to come?

    Are the terrorists just saying that without having anything in the works to back their claims just as a ploy to install fear in the US?
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I think we are much less safe:

    1) We have managed to antagonize more people/countries around the world than immediately after 9/11 when much of the world (include much of the Muslim world) denounced the acts and publicly sided with us. This was an opportunity lost. We should be sowing good will, building schools, boosting economies, etc. I'm not saying military action is totally inapproapriate as a concept, but the way we have gone about it is appalling. Afterall, we dropped two atomic bombs on Japan and within a generation, the Japanese are huge American fans. Why? because we helped them rebuild and improve and we opened markets to them, etc. I think we should be doing the same in the areas where Islamist/Jihadist recruitment is highest. I also think that economic improvements go the longest way toward swaying someone to being our allies. Shoving "democracy" down peoples' throats and insisting they like it, particularly without any visible economic improvement will get us nowhere. Improve people's lot in life and the other parts will follow.

    2) We have refused to consider the motivations behind these Jihadist movements because we consider them to be "irrational." Well, they're not irrational to young people who travel halfway across the world to attend a training camp and then spend years secretly plotting a dastardly deed that will end in their death. Something is very compelling about it all or no one would be on board. Instead we say they "hate freedom and democracy" which I think will not get us very far in terms of offering up an alternative path for would-be recruits. Some in the administration would say this is caving in to demands or kowtowing to their agenda. But someone trying to catch a serial killer doesn't do so because they want to comprimise with the killer, or that they think their rationale is acceptable - they just want to catch the SOB.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  11. #11
    You don't see any bears around do you?

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    For those who don’t think that anything has changed, what are your thoughts on reports that the Government has stopped several terrorist attacks in the US?

    More so, how much better can it get given that since 9/11, there has not been one successful terrorist attack on US soil despite warnings from Al Quida that “more attacks are to come?

    Are the terrorists just saying that without having anything in the works to back their claims just as a ploy to install fear in the US?

    The government also stopped terrorist attacks priot to 9/11. There haven't been attacks on US soil, but it seems that there are almost daily attacks on US interests (our allies, military, etc). We have all of these commission and reports and things that tell us what we can do to be safer, but yet we do not implement them. We can be much safer, but as is typical with the current congress and administration, not enough money is given to mandated programs because it is all redirected to Iraq. I still can't believe how little security there is at many rail stations . Or at some of our harbors and ports.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Contrary to "The road to 9/11", I would point out that we were only attacked ONCE on american soil by Al Quida in the eight years of the Clinton administration! This is the exact same number of times as under Bush, and he has two years to go! Irrefutable proof that Clinton was effective against terrorism!
    Reality does not conform to your ideology.
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  14. #14
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb View post
    Contrary to "The road to 9/11", I would point out that we were only attacked ONCE on american soil by Al Quida in the eight years of the Clinton administration! This is the exact same number of times as under Bush, and he has two years to go! Irrefutable proof that Clinton was effective against terrorism!
    Um...wouldn't NYC and DC be considered 2 places. I would consider them two separate coordinated attacks.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Runner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    Here is a realistic question and one often covered by news agencies... are we safer as a country than we were 5 years ago? Why or why not. Do you feel safer?

    If no, what needs to be done for us to be a safer country?
    NO, I don't feel safer.

    What needs to be done:
    End control of our government by W, the neocons, and the religious fundamentalists.
    Cheers,
    UrbanRunner
    :)
    _____________________________
    WWJJD
    "What Would Jane Jacobs Do?"

  16. #16

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    Americans were not dying on an almost daily basis in Iraq (and a bit less frequently in Afgahnistan) before 9/11. So, we'd have to say that our troops definitely are NOT safer.

    As for the rest of us, we are NOT safer from wiretapping or other unlawful intrusions into our lives. We are not safer from environmental pollution or the loss of character in our communities. Bush's presidency would not have survived into a second term without the pretext of a war, and we are all substantially less well off as a result.

    Are we physically safer? Who is to say? Some bad things have been stopped. But would they have been stopped on 9/10 through ordinary police work? We don't know. We also don't know whether those threats would even have materialized without the provocation of our unlawful invasion of Iraq. My sense is that we are less safe due to this provocation, and that the buzzards just haven't come home to roost yet.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb View post
    Contrary to "The road to 9/11", I would point out that we were only attacked ONCE on american soil by Al Quida in the eight years of the Clinton administration! This is the exact same number of times as under Bush, and he has two years to go! Irrefutable proof that Clinton was effective against terrorism!
    Well concerning we were not “At War” with them at the time, lets look at the Clinton/ Al-Queda relationship.:
    • February 26, 1993 Bomb explodes at World Trade Center
    • October 4 1993, 18 US servicemen were killed in Somalia,
    • June 25 1993, 19 US servicemen killed at a US base in Saudi Arabia that was bombed
    • February 22, 1998 Bin Laden issues “Fatwa” calling for attacks on US Citizens
    • August 7, 1998 US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania Bombed
    • October 12, 2000 USS Cole is bombed killing 17 Sailors

    Your right... only one attack on “US” soil. It is a shame that Clinton did not have the courage to do something after the other 5 attacks that Al-Queda took credit for. Maybe if he would have given the go a head to take Bin-Laden out sooner (during the several pre-9/11 opportunities) then maybe none of this would have ever happened!
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    So when was the decleration of war law passed by congress again? And against whom does it apply? (These are both constitutional requirements for being at war).

    And could you now make a list of incidents in which American servicemen have been killed overseas under Bush?
    Reality does not conform to your ideology.
    http://neighborhoods.chicago.il.us Photographs of Life in the Neighborhoods of Chicago
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  19. #19
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    ...maybe...
    Maybe it would still have....who knows. The nature of this network precludes discussions like this because of the netwrok's very unpredictability. Just because a 'leader' dies does not stop the 'followers' from doing what was intended.

    Hindsight 20/20...Clinton administration didn't do this....the Bush administration said that was definitely in Iraq....etc.

    Let's just make sure that look into the future to try to prevent future disasters.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    If I remember correctly when Clinton launched cruise missiles into Afghanistan after the 1998 attack he was heavily criticized as using it as a distraction from the Monica scandal.

    As for the 18 Rangers killed and 108 wounded in Somalia and the 17 sailors that were killed in the Cole bombing fails in comparison to the number of troops that have died in Iraq. Both of these cases are illustrations of US military commanders not being prepared for the situation on the ground. If Clinton is to blame for these deaths then surely Bush is to blame for the several hundred Americans that have died as a result of the IED in Iraq.

    Blaming the current president for a terrorist attack is a simple minded person’s answer to a complex question. Assuming Clinton and Bush were/are experts in every aspect of their job is ridiculous. We have 2.7 million government employees whose job is to pass up information so that it gets correctly disseminated. I guess we could blame Truman for creating the CIA with its leadership purposely civilian to create a barrier between it and the military. The fact is terrorist was not a priority in 1982 when the Marine Barracks was bombed in Lebanon, nor was it when Pan Am Flight 103 was blown out of the sky or in any other attacks after that. IT was not until 9/11 did it truly enter the nations psyche. People did not see it as a problem. Look at Social Security. Bush spent 6 months telling people that this is a huge problem in every way he could think of and still few people listened and now it’s a dead issue.

    As for the terror plots stopped by the government the average sentence has been less than three years except for those terrorist that were caught trying to blow up LAX on New Years ( should we give Clinton credit for that one?)

    The alleged terrorists buying cell phones turned out not to be terrorist, the Buffalo Al Qaeda cell had no weapons or plans, the terrorists scoping out Las Vegas turned out to be tourists. The big scores have been overseas and Richard Reed who a month after 9/11 was a match stroke away from bringing down another plane. IT was only the combination of his incompetence and vigilant passengers that that American Airlines flight did not land at the bottom of the Atlantic.

    Don't get me wrong, I am all for stopping these people but we need to be pro active in preventing the treats, boarder and port security, while still preserving what it means to be American by protecting our civil liberties, freedoms and the constitutional system of checks and balances. We defeated the Nazis, and Japanese, who seems omnipresent as we defeated the communists who again seemed invincible and everywhere all without huge sacrifices to civil liberties or the Constitution.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I don't feel any safer. I hate to fly. But I keep reading that the airport screeners are mostly inept.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Of course we are safer Martha Stewart went to jail, Kobe got off, I know I feel safer knowing the one woman that actually wants to cook, and clean, and keep the garden was thrown in jail, while an admitted rapist walks around free.

    Liberally borrowed from George Carlin
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Jess's avatar
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    Daily news flashes there were act of terrorist threating down there, while government takes initiatives to set-up counter insurgency programs, so, no wonder I can still log-in to Cyburbia.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian
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    Of course the US is safer... and so is the whole world... Islamic Fundamentalists have now been completely discredited world wide. Arabs everywhere condemn the use of violence against the peaceful and friendly Westerners. Osama bin Laden is now in jail of course, after a public trial, like all of those arrested under suspicion of terrorism after 9/11. It's amazing how the Foreign Aid of the US no longer ends up in Israel buying guns, but actually buying food and medicine for poor countries. The US foregin policy is a true example for all and approved world wide....

    No terrorists here... It's a wonderful world...

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Plus Salmissra's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    I think we are much less safe:

    1) We have managed to antagonize more people/countries around the world than immediately after 9/11 when much of the world (include much of the Muslim world) denounced the acts and publicly sided with us. *snip*

    2) We have refused to consider the motivations behind these Jihadist movements because we consider them to be "irrational." *snip*
    I agree. We had a chance to really make a difference, and instead we alienated those whose help we needed. No wonder I'm going to be a Canadian on my next trip overseas!

    no I don't have a Canadian passport - I'll just say I'm Canadian when the locals ask me where I'm from
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

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